- Result: Galwegians Women 10 - Old Belvedere 13
- Venue: Crowley Park on Sun Nov 13th 2016
- Competition: AIL Womens League
Galwegians faced Old Belvedere in wintry cold conditions at Crowley Park on Sunday. It was a tough contest with Old Belvedere coming out on top by a narrow 3 point victory.
Old Belvedere started proceedings with the kick off which was met by a Galwegians’ knock on. This did not bode well for the game as handling errors permeated on both sides throughout the entire match. Old Belvedere attacked from their solid scrum putting pressure on Galwegians from the start which they absorbed well. Minutes later a further Old Belvedere knock on allowed Galwegians to take the reins.
Galwegians maintained a decent scrum despite being without forwards stalwart Ruth O’ Reilly and Captain Edel Mc Mahon who were both sidelined due to injury. Galwegians continued with convincing forward play with good ball carries by O’ Connor and Feely. However Galwegians’ forward momentum was short lived with 4 minutes gone as Old Belvedere were awarded a penalty for an infringement at the breakdown, which they kicked over the posts with ease. The visitors opened the scoring 3-0.
20 minutes into the contest and Old Belvedere were awarded another which Jenny Murphy blasted over the posts, further widening Old Belvedere’s lead 6-0.
Galwegians demonstrated excellent phases of play throughout much of the first half working tirelessly making good line breaks and defensively proving very strong. Good interplay between backs and forwards was evident as Galwegians worked patiently through their phases. This patience and composure nearly paid off until Sarah Jane Fox was the victim of a try stopping high tackle from Old Belvedere in a bid to cease the ‘Wegian momentum.
Seven minutes into the first half saw Jenny Murphy expose a lapse in Galwegians’ defence as she evaded three tackles and raced over the line and scored a try which they converted, 13-0 to the visitors.
Galwegians performed well at set piece and maintained solid scrums and lineouts. Marion Sheridan (7) managed to secure the majority of her own and Old Belvedere’s lineouts. However Old Belvedere who are renowned for their ability to steal ball from their opposition and cunning attacking play meant Galwegians had much to improve on in the second half.
And improve they did. The second half saw a seismic shift in Galwegians’ performance with much improved line speed. This was evident when Emma Clery (12) exploited a gap and stormed over the line with a try to open Galwegians’ scoring. Clare Raftery (10) converted the try with precision. 13-7 to Old Belvedere.
Galwegians continued in this vein when they were awarded a penalty. Raftery (10) stepped up once again and kicked the ball perfectly over the posts which put her team within three points of the visitors 13-10. Galwegians’ had to make changes when speedy winger Sarah Jane Fox (13) fell foul to injury and was substituted for Helen Duffy which saw a shift in the backline with scrum half Healy moving into 12.
Both sides battled relentlessly for the remainder of the match trying to eke out a score. 70 minutes into the game and Murphy for Old Belvedere nearly found open space however a superb try saving tackle from Galwegians’ Amelie Roux (8) stopped Old Belvedere from putting more points on the board.
The final whistle blasted and despite Galwegians’ best efforts to edge in front of their opponents it was however to be Old Belvedere’s day. Final score 13-10 to the visitors.
Galwegians’ next league fixture will see them take on Old Belvedere once again on the 20/11/16 in Anglesea Road, Dublin 4. This should be a thrilling encounter as the Blues will no doubt be seeking revenge for the narrow loss recently endured on their last meeting.